I believe that everyone can benefit from the hiking experience, at any age and at any level of ability. Physically, hiking--defined as "walking through nature"-- allows you to burn from 350 to 450 calories per hour, helps tone, flex and firm the body, and is a great cross-training strategy and alternative to the confines of a gym or health club. 

Psychologically, hiking helps reduce stress, getting us away from noise, air and visual pollution, away from the sources of stressful workplaces and demanding/non-supportive people. It offers us a time and place to relax, clear our troubled and over-active minds and calm our anxious emotions. Hiking connects us to our real, best and deeper selves, puts life in perspective and is an excellent medium for clear thinking and problem solving. Aesthetically hiking offers us the healing deep vibrant colors of nature found in a multitude of varied and beautiful scenic settings and seasons. We are treated to the soothing work of "nature's divine artist"...beauty surrounding us every step of the journey.

Hiking with another human being encourages us to personally connect to and discover each other as fellow travelers on the earth, in this life, as we dialogue freely and easily in a non-competitive, non-confronting unconditional manner...nature has no hidden agenda. Thus we can build a "hiking community" of kindred spirits sharing the same joys of wilderness. Spiritually, hiking can take us on the journey inwards where we discover our inner strengths and calm centers. Nature witnesses to the benevolent presence of its Creator, a presence with whom we can freely enter into relationship. In nature, the God of our own unique life experience is found in every mountain, verdant forest, far-reaching prairie, magnificent seascape and singularly beautiful flower, cloud and tree. Hiking tells us that indeed we are united to the whole of life, plant and animal. This "prayer-in-motion", a hike, at best offers us a space and time to discover and connect to what really matters!

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